Saturday 21 September 2019

Jury in trial of murder of father-of-one to consider its verdict for a third day

Victim Gerard Burnett
Victim Gerard Burnett

Alison O'Riordan

A jury will return to the Central Criminal Court tomorrow to consider its verdict for a third day in the trial of a 25-year-old man accused of murdering a father-of-one in north Dublin.

Andrew Gibney of Dromheath Avenue, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15 has pleaded not guilty to murdering Gerard Burnett (28) at Castlecurragh Vale, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15 on August 21, 2012.

Having spent five hours and 41 minutes deliberating over two days, the five men and seven women were sent home for the evening.

At 3.50pm today, the forewoman of the jury asked Mr Justice Paul Butler if they could re-hear Detective Superintendent Colm O’Malley's evidence.

The judge said he would let them go until tomorrow in order to set this up.

Mr Justice Butler gave the jury the option of bringing in a majority verdict at 12.30pm today saying: "Strive for a unanimous verdict but if that cannot be achieved you have a majority verdict."

The prosecution’s case is that Mr Gibney was part of a joint enterprise to murder Mr Burnett and he was one of five men who went to the deceased’s house on the night.

The defence said if the evidence pointed to a reasonable possibility that Mr Gibney intended to cause some harm to Mr Burnett short of serious harm, the appropriate verdict was manslaughter.

Read More: Jury in trial of murder of father-of-one to resume deliberations tomorrow

The jury yesterday requested to re-hear the evidence of Chief State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy.

Dr Marie Cassidy said that Mr Burnett died as a result of multiple stabs wounds and blood loss due to injuries to the right lung, heart and liver.

The jury has previously heard that Mr Gibney told gardai on August 28 that he stabbed the deceased in the side three times with a knife.

The accused went to a garda station of his own free will and told officers: “I was involved in the incident, the chap is dead now and I need to give him peace.”

Mr Justice Butler said there were three verdicts the jury could return, namely; not guilty; guilty of murder; and not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

The judge said on Monday that the principle of joint enterprise was central to the case. He said where two or more persons embark on a joint enterprise, all parties to that agreement are criminally liable.

But where one party goes beyond what has been tacitly agreed, then the other is not liable for the consequences of this act.

He added that an accused is not presumed to have intended the consequences of the acts of other people within a joint enterprise.

The jury will resume its deliberations at 11.15am tomorrow.

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